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MAIMONIDES: TREATISE ON LOGIC

MAIMONIDES: TREATISE ON LOGIC

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TRANSLATION OF MAIMONIDES' TREATISE ON LOGIC A Treatise on the art of logic, by the head of the religion of Israel, Musa ibn 'Obaid Allah of Cordova, may God be gracious unto him! In the name of God, the merciful and the compassionate! An eminent person, one of the masters of the juridical sciences and the possessors of clarity and eloquence in the Arabic language, has asked a man who studied the art of logic to explain to him the meanings of the numerous terms frequently occurring in the art of
TRANSLATION OF MAIMONIDES' TREATISE ON LOGIC A Treatise on the art of logic, by the head of the religion of Israel, Musa ibn 'Obaid Allah of Cordova, may God be gracious unto him! In the name of God, the merciful and the compassionate! An eminent person, one of the masters of the juridical sciences and the possessors of clarity and eloquence in the Arabic language, has asked a man who studied the art of logic to explain to him the meanings of the numerous terms frequently occurring in the art of

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TRANSLATIONOFMAIMONIDES'TREATISEONLOGICATreatiseontheartoflogic, bythe head of thereligionofIsrael,Musa ibn'ObaidAllahofCordova,mayGodbegraciousuntohim!InthenameofGod,themercifulandthecompassionate!Aneminentperson,oneofthe mastersofthejuridicalsciencesand thepossessorsofclarityandeloquencein theArabiclan-guage,hasaskedamanwhostudied the artoflogictoexplaintohimthemeaningsofthenumerous termsfrequentlyoccurringintheart oflogic,tointerprettohimthe technicallanguagecommonlyadoptedbythe mastersofthisart,andtoendeavortodo this withextremebrevityand nottoindulgein detailsofmeaning,lest thediscourse becometoolong.For,hisintention,mayhisglorybeeverlasting,Iwasnot tolearn the artI amabout tooutline to him-sincethe introductionsplacedbeforeonewhodesires tolearnit aremany-butonlyto know thosetechnical termsinmost of theirmeanings,andnothingelse.Ibeginthen topresentthe desired discussion.CHAPTERIThe nounwhich the Arabiangrammariancallsabegin-ning,thelogicianscallasubject,andthatwhichthegram-mariancalls informationconcerningthebeginning,thelogicianscall apredicate.It does not matter whetherthe informationis anoun,averb,aparticle,oraphrase;itiscalledinanycaseapredicate.Noristhereanydifference asto whethertheinfor-mation affirms ornegates.Forexample,whenwesay'Zaydstands',wesay 'Zayd'is thesubject,and'stands'isthepredi-cate;whenwesay,'Zayddoesnotstand'or'Zaydisnotstand-ing',wesaythatinthis case'Zayd'is thesubject,'does not
ISee Introduction5,a.
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MAIMONIDES'TREATISEON LOGIC
stand'is thepredicate;whenyou say,'Zaydstood',or'willstand',wesaythat'Zayd'is thesubject,'stood'or'will stand'isthepredicate;andwhenyousay 'Zaydisinthehouse',wesaythat'Zayd'isthesubject,'is inthe house' is thepredicate.Similarly,whenthe informationisaclauseora verbwithitsadjuncts,wecallitall apredicate.Theentireexpression,composedoftheinformationandofthataboutwhich the information isoffered,whetherinaffirmationornegation,i.e.,thesubjectand thepredicatetogether,iscalledaproposition.It is also calledan enunciativesentence.Theproposition alwayshastwoparts:thesubjectandthepredicate,even if itconsistsofmanywords.Forexample,whenwesay 'ZaydofBasra,whoresidedinthe houseof'Amr,killedhissonAbu-BekrofEgypt',wesaythat thesubjectofthispropositionis'ZaydofBasra whoresidedin thehouseof'Amr',anditspredicateis'killedhisson Abu-BekrofEgypt'.Letthisguide youin allotherexpressions.Allthe termsexplainedinthischapterare four:predicate,subject,proposition,enunciativesentence.CHAPTER IIEverypropositioneither affirmssomethingofsomething,e.g.,'Zaydiswise','Zaydstands',ornegatessomethingofsomething,e.g.,'Zaydis notwise','Zayddoesnotstand'.Thatpropositionwhichaffirmssomethingofsomething,wecallanaffirmativeproposition;thatwhichnegatessomethingofsomething,wecallanegative proposition.The affirmativepropositionmayaffirmthepredicateofallofthesubject,e.g., 'Everymanis ananimal';andwecallita universalaffirmative,and we call'every'auniversalaffir-mativesign.Itmayaffirmthepredicateofapartofthe sub-ject,e.g.,'Some menwrite';andthis we call aparticularaffir-mative,and we call 'some' aparticularaffirmativesign.Thenegativepropositionmaynegatethepredicateofall ofthesubject,e.g.,'No man isastone';andthiswe callauniversal35
 
ISRAELEFROS
negative,and wecall 'no' auniversalnegative sign.Itmaynegatethepredicateof apartofthesubject,e.g.,'Noteverymanwrites',or'Somemendo notwrite',or'Notsomemenwrite';andthiswe call aparticularnegative.Wedo not dis-criminateamongthesethreeexpressionsof theparticularnega-tive;nevertheless,wealwayspreferourexpressionintheparti-cularnegativeto be 'notevery',which we calltheparticularnegativesign.Thesignsthenare four:'Every','some','no',and'notevery';andthepropositionsthathavesignsarefour:universalaffirmative,particularaffirmative,universalnegative,andparticularnegative.Ifhowever nosignisattachedtothesubjectofthepropo-sition,as whenwesay'Men are animals'or'Menwrite',wecallthispropositionindesignate,thatis,itis leftopenand notsurrounded witha wall. Weregarditalwaysasaparticularproposition,whether affirmativeornegative.Thus whenwesay'Menwrite',ithas for usthesameforceasifwe said'Somemenwrite';and whenwesay'Men do notwrite',itis asif wesaid'Noteverymanwrites'.When however thesubjectofapropositionisasingleindividual,e.g., 'Zaydisananimal','Amrwrites','Bekriswise',we call itasingularproposition.Thus,there arenecessarilysix2kindsofpropositions:universalaffirmative,particularaffirmative,universalnegative,parti-cularnegative,theindesignate (whoseforce is thatof theparti-cular,bothintheaffirmativeand in thenegative),andthesingularwhichmaylikewisebeaffirmativeornegative.Wecallthatpartofthepropositionwhichdesignatesuniversalityandparticularitythequantityof aproposition;andthat whichdesignatesaffirmationandnegation,we callthequalityofaproposition.Forexample,whenwesay,'Everymanis ananimal',wesaythatthequantityof thispropositionisuniversalanditsqualityisaffirmative,butwhenwesay'Some men do not write'wesaythatthequantityof thispropo-sitionisparticularanditsqualityisnegative.Allthetermsexplainedinthischapterare fourteen:affirmative,negative,universalaffirmative,particularaffirma-
2SeeIntroduction6,a.
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